Abstract strategy game. Play here.
This is an implementation of the board game Kulami. While a fairly simple implementation, it does support irregular arrangements of tiles in a 10x10 grid, which allows for a lot of interesting variations.
It took me a little while to appreciate this game dues to its abstract nature. However, it does seem to be a game that is skewed very heavily in favor of the computer because:
The small branching factor, with the exception of the 1st move, decreases rapidly until a computer can easily see the end game from 12+ moves away
The static evaluation function is pretty much just calculating the current score, (which can be done incrementally)
And this is a game about calculating score - something trivial to a computer - but waaay too much math for a person to do mentally
The different board configurations - they don’t seem to affect the AI’s algorithm, but each configuration requires a slightly different human strategy
However, the award for the most persistent definitely goes to jacsn, who worked tirelessly in his quest to defeat the AI.
I tried to do some analysis by seeing if I could find some pattern between winning / losing / tieing certain tiles by having it play a bunch of simulated games, and averaging the results on a per-tile basis. And while there did seem to be some interesting data, I couldn’t find any Deus Ex Machina for winning, and so didn’t dig much deeper
During development, the project name I used for this was Salami, partially as a play on the name Kulami, and partially because the inital board had a sort of meaty look to it: